President Muhammadu Buhari in his nationwide broadcast on Monday to celebrate the nation’s 58 independence anniversary urged Nigerians to be forward-looking with confidence and optimism about the country.
He emphasised that there has been a steady improvement in the security situation in the North East.
“We remain committed to ending the crisis and make the North East safe for all,” he assured.
The President said his government would not allow the Boko Haram terrorists to succeed in their plans to “capturing territories, destroying our democracy and denying our children the right to education.”
“We will not allow them to succeed.”
He commiserated with the victims of Boko Haram atrocities and their families, saying that “our prayers are with them”
I’m looking into cases of inadequacies about the military welfare
He also paid tribute to the men and women of our armed forces, the Police and other security and law enforcement agencies, who have been working under the most difficult conditions to keep the country safe. In the process, many have made the supreme sacrifice.
The President assured security operatives he would continue to empower them by deepening their professionalism and providing all the necessary force multipliers and enablers required for them to prevail on the field.
“I am looking into all reported cases of inadequacies in relation to their entitlements, their welfare and those of their families,” he said
We will restore hopes of Niger Delta youths
President Buhari noted that his administration would finish the cleaning up of the polluted Niger Delta land as well as restore hopes of the youths in the region and re-establish livelihoods, and strengthen their capacity to guarantee for themselves and for the country a brighter future.
Those behind herders, farmers clash will face full wrath of law
He said the age-long conflict between herders and farmers that was being exploited by those seeking to plant the seeds of discord and disunity amongst our people, is being addressed decisively.
“We will sustain and continue to support the commendable efforts by all including civil society organisations, local and states governments and our traditional and religious leaders in finding durable solution to this problem.”
He warned that the perpetrators of murder and general mayhem in the name of defending or protecting herders or farmers will face the full wrath of the law
The ballot box is how we make our choice
Buhari reiterated that he has committed himself to ensure that elections are fully participatory, free and fair and that the Independent National Electoral Commission would be truly independent and properly staffed and resourced.
“The ballot box is how we make our choice for the governments that rule in our name,” he said
He called on Nigerians to rise against those he said are behind the social media to disrupt the country.
“Now we have in our hands technology that is a powerful tool that we can and should use for knowledge and understanding. As with other countries, we must also learn how to manage those tendencies that, instead, look to abuse new technologies to provoke passions and stir tensions.
“Never before have we faced such a challenge. We must all rise to the responsibility of shutting out those disruptive and corrosive forces that hide in today’s world of social media. We need critical minds and independent thinking, to question and question until we are satisfied we have the facts. Otherwise, all the progress we have made as a democracy since 1999 is at stake.”
Developing a thriving democracy is not an easy task
After 58 years of nationhood, President Buhari remarked that developing a thriving democracy is not an easy task.
He said those years have revealed that there can “be no quick fixes or short cuts.”
The President stressed that Nigeria remains a responsible and respected member of the international community, playing active positive roles within ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations as well as all other regional and international organisations and institutions of which we are members.
“We will continue to support initiatives aimed at addressing the challenges of our times: global and regional crises and conflicts, terrorism, trans-border crime, climate change, human rights, gender equality, development, poverty and inequality within and between nations, etc.
“In this context, we are working hard to achieve both the AU 2063 Agenda for socio-economic transformation of our continent; and the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, which together aim at addressing these challenges,” he said.
Our journey is not finished but we have come a long way
President Buhari concluded the address by assuring Nigerians that he would continue to work to “promote, protect and preserve what really matters: a united, peaceful, prosperous and secure Nigeria, where all, irrespective of background, can aspire to succeed.” He maintained that the nation is on the right path.
He noted that Nigeria as a nation has so much for “for which we should be grateful, and in which we should rightly take pride.”
“Our journey is not finished but we have come a long way.”
Thank you. I wish you a memorable independence celebration.